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Man faces charges of domestic battery, disorderly conduct

Staff writer

Patrick Bernhardt, 46, of Marion, faces charges of domestic battery and disorderly conduct after an alleged disagreement between him and his wife at 9:31 p.m. Sept. 13 at rental property at 215 N. 2nd St.

Marion police officer Mike Stone responded to a report of domestic battery. He said the source of the disagreement was unknown, but Bernhardt’s wife, Gretchen, allegedly informed Stone they had been arguing the previous night.

The official police report also indicated Bernhardt was suspected of using alcohol. Both parties allegedly informed police that he had consumed about a “half a gallon of whiskey,” Stone said.

The situation escalated after Gretchen allegedly locked Bernhardt out of their house, Stone said.

“Gretchen told us Patrick cut the screen on the back window, entered the house and began to shove her around,” Stone said. “She started screaming and he took off when she called the police.”

On scene, Stone noted that the couple’s residence was somewhat disheveled.

“Things had been thrown off the table, there were holes punched in the wall, and an old grandfather clock had been broken,” he said.

While checking the area for Bernhardt’s whereabouts, Stone found a bicycle near a small bridge by Marion Marble and Granite that Bernhardt was thought to have fled the scene on.

Police then received an anonymous call that informed Stone of the possibility that Bernhardt was on Billings St. So he sat in the dark for about 30 minutes before he confirmed Bernhardt’s location and was able to apprehend him.

“I started to see a light flickering in a shed behind a house,” Stone said. “He was hunkered down, drunker than a skunk, trying to light a cigarette.”

According to court documents, Bernhardt pleaded not guilty to a prior charge of domestic battery that allegedly occurred against Gretchen on May 19. A pretrial conference for that case is scheduled for Monday.

Last modified Sept. 23, 2015

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